Easter - Celebration of Life & Death
I am not a very religious person in means of going to church and believing everything that’s written in the bible. Studying psychology of human beings make me think that a book written many years after so-called “miracles” have happened can only end up in fables and tales and only showing us the authors’ perspectives. Of course fables and tales have a deeper meaning (I love to integrate story-telling in my workshops), serving as metaphors and many of those “miracles” only change their gestalt but happen today exactly the same way they happened thousand years ago. But most people are too blind to see and honour them because they are too distracted from the essence of life. That makes them good victims for a manipulative organisations like the church.
If you look at our holidays it seems a bit strange that Christmas is celebrated in such a big and fancy way because it’s just about birth. But this exactly represents the Western thinking and shows the deep conditioning.
Easter represents both BIRTH and DEATH and it shows us in a fascinating metaphor that our transition from LIFE to DEATH is just a transformation but not an end.
People often ask me “So if you don’t have a certain religion how can you have faith into a higher power?”
It’s so easy to answer. I was born with curiosity and doubt. Doubt is not negative. It helps you to not believe everything your parents, relatives, friends and teachers tell you. When I hear mothers tell me that their children are at that certain age when they’re asking questions without even taking a break for breathing I’m getting this big satisfied smile because I remember myself asking every person I met about his or her opinion. And I always had that skill called “art of listening”. After listening I compared and evaluated what I had heard and then I went out looking for realistic and practical examples. I bought books and read about different cultures, their rituals and their beliefs. I picked exactly the pieces that went conform with my values, formed my own opinion and developed my own faith.
After not being able to celebrate my father’s death because of being too overwhelmed and paralysed after his sudden death I decided to do this after my mother’s death. Yes, you read the word that nobody wants to hear: “celebration” (of death).
My mother loved all kinds of art (paintings, poetry, music and dance) and she loved the simple life and the rituals of aboriginal people in Australia, Africa and North America (she had collected several books). I wrote a poem for her and my husband and me agreed to wear leather clothes with fringes at her funeral. As both of my parents have been Roman Catholic and I wanted them both in the same grave I had to arrange the funeral with the priest. I didn’t like this man very much because he was not very authentic. He had been my religion teacher and I remembered him as a voyeuristic man trying to peek under the young girls skirts when they were on the swing. I didn’t tell him about my plans. I wanted to know if he sticks to what he says “Heaven is big enough and everybody is welcome, the good people and the sinners.” What’s your definition of “sinner”?
It was a long drive in the morning of the funeral and when we entered the church we were already 15 minutes late. I’ll never forget how suddenly the murmur stopped and people were looking at us with a certain disgust in their eyes, seeing us not dressed in black but fancy and colourful. The priest did his speech as if he had done it already a thousand times (he probably had) only with different names. It felt recorded and dead. A line of people went across the street to the cemetery and after arriving at the grave the priest said the final words “dust to dust, soil to soil, may she rest in peace”. When I looked into the round and mentioned that I would like to read my poem he turned his back on me and went away. I felt deeply hurt and insulted. Heaven seemed not to be big enough to welcome me because obviously in his eyes I was even beyond a sinner. I read my lines and my mother’s best friends thanked me for doing that and asked me for a copy of this poem that described my mum so perfectly in loving words. I’m still sad that I didn’t have some of her favourite music with me but I definitely know that I want to hear “Fleur du Mal” from Sarah Brightman on my own funeral. I want people to dress in colourful clothes and dance and celebrate my transition to a body-less existence.
I love Osho who says:
Death cannot be the enemy because it is part of existence.
Existence has given birth to you. Existence is mothering you.
And when you die, you simply go back to your original source
to rest and to be born again.
There is no need to be afraid.
YOU will not die; you will only disappear like a snowflake
in the pure air.
Your form will disappear into formlessness,
the river will disappear into the ocean,
but it will not cease to exist. It will even become wider,
vaster, it becomes oceanic.
He also cites:
Death is, in fact, a process of renewal. And death happens each Moment. The moment you breathe in and the moment you breathe out, both happen.
Breathing in, life happens; breathing out, death happens. That’s why when a child is born the first thing he does is breathe in, then life starts. And when an old man is dying, the last thing he does is breathe out, then life departs. Breathing out is death, breathing in is life — they are like two wheels of a bullock cart. You live by breathing in as much as you live by breathing out.
The breathing out is part of breathing in. You cannot breathe in if you stop breathing out. You cannot live if you stop dying. The man who has understood what his life is allows death to happen; he welcomes it. He dies each moment and each moment he is resurrected. His cross and his resurrection are continually happening as a process. He dies to the past each moment and he is born again and again into the future.
Namaste everybody! Happy Easter!